sleep gadgets

Photo: Nightwave

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A Nightlight That Chases Away the Finish-Mes
What: The Nightwave Sleep Assistant

How it works: A blue LED light flashes on the ceiling (the makers claim the beam is too weak to disrupt melatonin levels like the blue light from a laptop can). You're supposed to match your breathing to the light's pulsing rhythm, which gives you something to focus on besides all of the tasks you didn't accomplish during the day. The light gradually slows over 7 to 25 minutes (depending on the cycle you choose), relaxing you—or boring you—to the point that you drift off to sleep.

Why we'd like to try it: Experts are always reminding us to quiet our mind before bedtime so the chattering doesn't keep us up after we turn off the lights. Meditation (or following the breath) has been shown to help, but some of us find our breath leads us to a more stressful place ("Why am I breathing so fast? Is it because I forgot to send that email? Or is it because I'm hot? Did I forget to turn off the oven?"). The Nightwave's silently pulsing blue light could be a beacon of calm for the easily distracted, a visual metronome for rhythm-challenged breathers.

Price: $50